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Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) tri-oval speedway in Joliet, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. The speedway opened in 2001 and actively hosts NASCAR racing including the opening event in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Until 2011, the speedway also hosted the IndyCar Series, recording numerous close finishes including the closest finish in IndyCar history. The speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation .
First discussions of building a major speedway near Chicago took place in an informal meeting between Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George and International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Bill France, Jr. in late 1995. Together they formed The Motorsports Alliance, a joint company owned by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and International Speedway Corporation. By 1995, a major racing facility had been built or was near completion near Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Chicago area was an untapped market for motorsports that had potential to be very lucrative. In 1996, the search began for a site to build a speedway somewhere near Chicago. Several sites were considered, and a track was built in suburban Cicero (Chicago Motor Speedway), but eventually attention turned to the Joliet area where George Barr had negotiated to build Route 66 Raceway. Barr convinced Joliet officials to meet with the Motorsports Alliance to discuss building their speedway adjacent to Route 66 Raceway. The success of Route 66 Raceway, completed in 1998, led to the city conducting an impact study of the proposed speedway. The study revealed the new speedway would generate $300 million for the Joliet and Will County region and over 3,000 jobs.
The Joliet city council unanimously approved the speedway on January 19, 1999. Following the approval, the Will County Board extended the Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone in order to give a tax break to the speedway developers. The tax break news also led to the Joliet High School district threatening to bail out of the enterprise zone, but a compromise was reached. In May 1999, The Motorsports Alliance combined with Route 66 Raceway LLC to form Raceway Associates, LCC with Coyne as president alongside George and France.